Race Recap

Spar Community Challenge | 10K Recap | April 2023

In 2022, the Spar Community Challenge was launched as a 9-part running series, and I participated in four races. As there aren’t too many people, the races have quite an intimate feel and provide a great opportunity for families and people of all ages and fitness levels.

So, we were excited when the Challenge resumed in March this year with a new hashtag #4Smiles but an otherwise similar format – two distances (5K and 10K) with finisher medals and spot prizes. There’s also a series leader board with overall winners announced at the final race, and the best part is the challenge is in support of a disadvantaged Gamodubu community.

On 15th April 2023, I participated in my first race, and it was a real family affair. My husband, father, sister and I entered the10K race and the kids did the 5K. When we got to Kgale View Shopping Mall at 06:15, the parking lot was already quite full. Ditiro dropped us off while he looked for parking. We headed towards the gantry and immediately spotted my dad and sister. It was quite chilly, so we were grateful for the warm-up session organised by Penalty Box Fit.

At 06:45, we set off. My strategy was to run strong but not too hard as I had a Half the following Saturday. From the mall, we headed onto the A1 Road towards the Gaborone Technical College. At the College, we turned left and then took the immediate left, going all the way to the old filming site of the No.1 Ladies Detective movie. At the dead end, we turned around, then took the right into a neighbourhood which is characterized by leafy streets and modern residential homes including the upmarket estate, Kgale Manor. We ran past the Ava Maria Pastoral Centre and Botho University, then turned right at Game City Mall so we faced the majestic Kgale Hill. We went left at the end of the road, passing several office complexes on our right that make up the Gaborone International Commerce Park and Millennium Office Park. From here, it was down to the A1 Lobatse Road and left towards the flyover, for the first 5km loop.

With the 10K race starting at the same time as the 5K, there was a sizeable crowd at the start. Ditiro quickly disappeared, my daughter ran ahead and my son stayed with me for about 2km.

At 07:21 min/km, the first kilometre was my slowest, but I was surprised that my son kept up with me. I picked up the pace in the second kilometre with 07:01 min/km and when I started the third, my son fell back and joined my dad and sister. The remaining three kilometres of the first loop were strong: 07:21/ 06:54/ 06:52. After losing the 5K runners in the first loop, it was a tough and very lonely second round. The slower runners and walkers were far behind and the faster runners were much further ahead. I only spotted people when I got to the No.1 Ladies movie site. My splits for the second loop were: 07:03/ 07:00/ 07:11/ 06:57/ 7:07. We had a bonus 650m and I was very happy to cross the finish line with an overall average pace of 07:04.

When I arrived, Ditiro had long finished his 10K race, as had the kids, and I found this gorgeous photo of my son collecting his medal on the Spar Community Challenge Facebook Page.

My daughter quickly showed me how to access and print my results. Very fancy!

We took a few photos before grabbing cappuccinos and hot chocolates from the mobile coffee shop. My sister soon came through and we chatted as we waited for my dad who, at 78, received some great applause from us and the security and marshals.

It was such a lovely Saturday morning bonding with the family, before I commenced a weekend of work assignments, followed by a week of travel. If you’d like to register for this race, you can do so at SPAR stores (Kgale, Village, Airport Junction and Acacia), GRIP Runner (Sebele Mall) or online at http://www.ucbtiming.co.bw. Cost per race is P50 with proceeds going to charity. Children under age 10 participate for free. [Thank you to the Spar Community Challenge official photographer for some of these photos! I nicked them from their Facebook Page]

I’m joining two fabulous runners, Kim from Running on the Fly and Deborah from Confessions from a Mother Runner for their link up – the “Weekly Run Down”.

29 thoughts on “Spar Community Challenge | 10K Recap | April 2023

  1. I remember when you did this before! How fun that they brought it back. I love those smiley face medals. So happy! Congrats to all. It’s so nice that your whole family participated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So happy they brought it back too, and I love that people of all ages and fitness levels participate. It is such a non-intimidating environment! My sister and dad would like to make this a regular event and I will most definitely try to do most of them.


  2. Oh my goodness, what a fabulous family event! Congrats to everyone of you! I love the picture of the medals hanging on the tree and especially the one of your son receiving his medal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that so much of your family participated in this race! A few of my relatives run, some occasionally, others more often, but I’ve never run a race with them. My nephew, who runs a lot — I don’t think he’s ever run a race (but he cheered me on at one of mine once).

    I love the medals & the photo of your son getting his!


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well we’re all getting older so doubtful. Although my nephew who is 30 years my junior is just coming back from a stress fracture. He’s way faster than me! It does sound like fun.


  4. Wow, what a fun day. I love how your whole family did this including your dad! And I love to see so many people running. Those medals are very cute. I hope you do more of these (so we can hear all about it!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ll definitely hear more about these races as they have planned them monthly! It was such a fun day and so happy the family participated. Of course, the kids moaned at the beginning, but they were so proud of themselves afterwards. And for them, the hot chocolate at the end was a big motivator!


  5. I love that the whole family could be involved! But I can imagine the 2nd 5km loop was a little lonely. being a back of the pack runner it’s one of the reasons why I don’t really enjoy double loop races as much a just a full round.

    Liked by 1 person

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